MEDIAWATCH: What a paywalled VIVA tells us about the two Zealands

The Revolution will not be televised, but it will have cocktails.

This recession will split NZ into two very definable ‘Zealands’ and no where is that divide best represented culturally than the new paywalled VIVA.

You would wonder at the wisdom of launching a paywalled culture section for rich wankers at the birth of a recession but by doing so, they’ve inadvertently highlighted a naked economic truth of the coming recession, those with property equity and those who don’t or who have nothing.

Wealthy Asian-NZers and their upper middle class Pakeha mates vs the rest of us economically and culturally.

This recession will once again expose the bleeding gums of our inequality while the wealthy continue to play in a broken city. Capitalist hospitality will morph into the elitism that can afford it, for them there will always be oysters and bubbles for lunch while food bank demand explodes.

This recession will erect gated communities like paywalled content for the prevue of those who can afford that escapism.

It’s arrival is a harbinger of a divided culture in a time of intense dislocation.

It is an important ingredient for revolution.


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  1. Agree.
    The division the Labour Government has brought about in New Zealand is unforgivable.
    The divide between rich and poor has never been greater same for Maori, Pakeha.
    Are they trying to correct it? No they are making it worse by the day.

    • NATIONAL divided this country with this rich/poor BS
      Right wing is about me me me
      Left wing is about us us us
      Are you paid to say this garbage?

      • You can’t have been here in the 80s Mark when Labour introduced neoliberalism and the end of “us” in favor of “me”.
        It was unarguably Labour that killed socialism dead in this country.
        Now they are to divide us on race.

    • It’s a team of 5 million unless:

      You’re a farmer
      Or a tradie with a ute
      Or you own a renter
      Or you’re a supermarket owner
      Or you own a gas station
      Or white
      Or a man
      Or an ‘OK Boomer’
      And now apparently a rich Asian

      Have I left anyone out?

      • Middle class, national supporter, ACT supporter, NZ First supporter.
        You need to work on your intersectionality.
        Current wokefuckery is fast heading towards dividing us into 5 million different groups.
        The 2 million “known” genders have us most of the way there.

  2. When the bottom 50% of NZers own just 2% of the wealth and people go hungry, homeless and mental, in a land of plenty, it should indeed be a situation ripe for revolution.

    BUT…we lack class leadership, a fighting central labour organisation needs to be urgently restored, and the small group of marxists need to bury their sectarianism and reform one united Aotearoa NZ Communist Party.

    The only ones leading by example at the moment are iwi organisations who fronted up with practical assistance during COVID 2020/21.

    Parliament is just one element, community organising and direct action is what is needed.

  3. Don’t worry Martyn. Last night at dinner my White Privileged Upper Middle Class kids were running the numbers on buying a house and concluding that they’re fucked even with the help of the Bank of Mum and Dad, so there’s some ripe revolutionary masses there for you.

    Only problem is that they don’t believe Labour and the Left have the answers either, especially after five years of Labour.

    • I haven’t owned a TV, apart for the occasional DVD or the Nephews & Co to play PlayStation since circa 1989. I join you in that state of bliss. Well Done.

    • XstraightXedgeX. Good question. Looks like it’s a television channel for gays and fancy people to show off to other nouveau riche types wearing the same sort sort of garish jackets which Nat women wear in Parliament to get themselves noticed. Down a bit of plonk, scented candles, giggles, and anything but bare feet, please dear God, blokes with bare feet are the pits. They might cook as if they’ve just invented cooking, have tasteful books on coffee tables, a dozen pillows on each bed in the obligatory colour white, invite friends for dindins, drift along beaches like thoughtful bits of seaweed, choose new curtains, luncheon in imitation Spanish cafes, meaningfully, solve the world’s problems, and not with a bang but a whimper. Giggle. Clearly compulsive viewing, but it’ll be hard to beat The Wombles.

  4. Russell Brand.
    “I recently spoke with Alina Chan, who is a molecular biologist focused in gene therapy and cell engineering at Harvard & the Broad Institute of MIT. She explains & argues that the origins of Covid 19 most likely came from a lab accident in Wuhan & not a wet market.”
    Off topic? Yeah, maybe.
    Two smiling twinkle sparklers ready to pour sickly sweet, bleached and beige, bullshit into your ears. I used to respect Jessie Mulligan but he’s caught what John Campbell’s got. A soapy lather of soft verbs which should only be used to apologise your way out of spilling a cup of tea all over your partner who’s half asleep, half naked and still in bed. The rich can pay to listen to what they’re told they should like, I personally don’t care. It’s clearly working for them not withstanding the fact that most of the rich have traded in their souls to foreign owned wind bag banksters full of promise and fuck all else. I’m sticking with TDB, The Guardian and Russell Brand cheers, thanks, ta very much.

    • FFS…Russell Brand links again!
      Are you obsessed with the multi millionaire champagne socialist?
      Is there ANY post on TDB where you will not whore a Russell Brand link??

        • geez,,, who knew that countryboy had surreptitiously attached stun gun electrodes to ‘I’m right’ ,,,,, ZAPPING his testicles with 10,000 volts every-time he refuses to click on the link.

          Life must be hell for him.

          He should get them removed and then relax in not following the links if he doesn’t want to.

          As for ‘Whores’ ,,, Look, I understand that ‘I’m right’ is angry and grumpy about the high voltage link clicking torture device super-glued to his Scrotum ,,,, but why does he bring his mother into it? :0 …..

      • geez ‘Im right’ ,,,, none of us realized countryboy had implanted stun gun electrodes on you ,,, ZAPPING your testicles with 10,000 volts every-time you refuse to click on his links.

        Life must be hell.

        Go get them removed, and live like a relaxed adult, free to not click on his links if you muster the energy to choose not to.

        That’s how the rest of us live.

        As for ‘whores …. why bring your mother into it? :0

      • “Is there ANY post on TDB where you will not whore a Russell Brand link??”
        No. Russell Brand’s brilliant in my opinion. If you feel threatened by his kind, inclusive and agreeable disposition then don’t fucking engage with the links. Remain ignorant. It’s clearly a place where you feel most comfortable.
        And sure, he’s an entertainer. And he was paid for that. Unlike our now nine multi billionaires who’s only talents were and are to fuck us over without the kissing.
        Russell Brand has an excellent infrastructure of highly educated, highly intelligent people bringing us an open and honest discussion on global affairs and I feel, that where appropriate, I want to share that. FFS. etc. Nice that you’re riled. Hitting a nerve comes with a satisfying frisson I’m delighted to admit to.

        • Not ‘riled’ nor ‘rattled’!
          Just amazed how a grown man can have such an obsession with someone.
          Yes yes teenagers with their fav bands or singer I can see that..but a mentally challenged adult like yourself CB having such an obsession for another champagne socialist, wow!!
          How romantic, hope the wife approves of the obsession.??

        • Totally agree cb

          Russell Brand can also freely talk to someone he disagrees with and they have a cordial mature conversation. He absolutely listened to their point of view (much like Joe Rogan) and doesn’t lose his shirt.

          We need more of that. Not the echo chamber we seem to have here.

        • @countryboy
          My niece and her husband are both pharmacists and have now retired from ownership of two major pharmacies. They firmly advised Auntie to ‘follow the science.’ Now after unfortunate experiences with family and friends who now cope with ongoing problems, there is a change of opinion.
          In my last conversation with my niece she announced that she had concluded that the virus was made in a laboratory.
          Interesting to know that not everyone has a mind like a Manichaean rat trap, closed forever on alternative possibilities.
          TDB, Russell Brand and the Guardian are insufficient IMO. How about Lugansk Media Centre, Electronic Intifada, Asia Times,Tehran Times,
          Haaretz or The Saker. Not a bad idea to become aware of other viewpoints.

  5. “food bank demands explode”
    Food banks are part of the problem in that they suppress revolutionary action. Churches have a vested interest in maintaining inequality because of the wealth they have accumulated and any group with an interest in social justice should close their food banks immediately as their charity work helps to perpetuate the control by welfare that capitalism requires.
    The first real sign of a revolution that could force change on the social structures of our society will be mass organized food raids. What is needed are 50 to 100 people entering a supermarket, filling up their trolleys and leaving en-mass without paying. Then we might see change.

    • Peter you say that ” Churches have a vested interest in maintaining inequality because of the wealth they have accumulated and any group with an interest in social justice should close their food banks immediately as their charity work helps to perpetuate the control by welfare that capitalism requires.”
      I am involved with my church to send Christmas food parcels to needy families.
      It is an incredible thing to see people selflessly donating and this year we will deliver over 27,000 boxes to support more than 140,000 individuals.
      You want to change the way we are governed by mass theft from shops. This would tear down society not make it better.
      No government has the resources to end poverty.
      WE must each be the change we wish to see.

  6. Wait, so suddenly Pakeha working class are needed after 5 years of deliberate Labour Party neglect in Identity grounds?

  7. Fine, lively, incisive comment from you Martyn filling us in on media trends, and though it does feel like a punch to the jaw, now at least we have been warned.

  8. “Wealthy Asian-NZers and their upper middle class Pakeha mates vs the rest of us economically and culturally.”
    A lot of people don’t realise that the Asian drive for success and wealth is racially driven, whether we are talking of the PRC or on an individual level, to catch up with, or even get one up over the white man. Asians have very recent memories of grinding poverty, who they blame on the ‘gwai los’, and former western invasions and exploitation of China. Listen to the statements of the PRC leadership – a lot of it is about ‘restoring’ China to its former imperial greatness, after having fallen behind technologically and economically due to what they see as the Western incursions of the 19th and 20th centuries. Same goes for other Asian countries like India, Indonesia etc, but perhaps to a lesser extent.

    • I don’t know what to think any more.

      On one hand I had some shocking revelations lately, when I realized that some of my East Asian and South Asian acquaintances harbored Supremacist beliefs, despite their modest demeanor.
      But on the other hand, this inter-ethic tension and hatred on both sides is getting scary.
      I feel like something like this happened in the 1930’s, when inflation hit Germany and Germans were starving.

      • I’m not sure if the views are ‘supremacist’ as such – perhaps more an acute sense of cultural and civilizational inferiority in front of Westerners due to being previously invaded and colonised by the West. Feelings of inferiority, or narratives of national humiliation are a much stronger motivation and driver for economic, technological, and military success, than ‘supremacism’.

        These feelings afflict of course not only Asians, but most non-Western people around the globe. The media would have many believe that there is widespread international concern over the actions of China. But these concerns are mainly confined to the West and Japan. The fact is almost all developing countries in Africa and Asia are consistently siding with China against Western interests. Muslim countries overwhelmingly support China in spite of China’s oppression of Uighur Muslims. The desire to stick it to the West undergirds this. Another example of this sort of sentiment playing out is of course the West’s surprise when most African and Asian countries either directly countenanced or remained neutral on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

        I’m not saying the above is necessarily a bad thing – they are simply observations. If people have a drive for success, it tends to more productive, wealthier nations as a whole.

  9. “Wealthy Asian-NZers and their upper middle class Pakeha mates vs the rest of us economically and culturally.”

    Why bring race in to what is largely an economic divide, or would you like to see an increased backlash against Asians? Asians in New Zealand generally have a culture of gaining education and working hard (something that pays dividends for most people regardless of race or socioeconomic background) and many come from very modest backgrounds, often starting with little or nothing, rather than relying on inherited wealth.

    Asian are a easily identifiable minority and make an easy target for people to vent their frustrations on, so they don’t need the extra grief from people’s misguided assumptions.

    • Well said Richard. I admire those who work hard and do well especially immigrants from all races. Some Asian people may have come with wealth but you know they have work ethics. Many here have none. As for RHs racially driven wealth comment, that comes from a strong desire to better one’s self. Something to admire not envy.

      • bettering ones self means buying lots of shit and destroying the planet in the process?
        refusing to be a cog in the materialistic machine that causes global warming?

        if bettering oneself leads to wearing shirts like these,, just please no

        • Bettering ones self means eating healthy, nutritious food, regularly, so you never go hungry. Living in a warm, comfortable home that you own, so you never need to shiver in winter or worry about being evicted. Having good health care, so you are always looked after & minor ailments don’t turn in to life threatening conditions. Having enjoyable, healthy recreation and entertainments, so you remain fit and are never bored. Having rewarding work you enjoy, rather than struggling at 3 jobs just to survive. Having engaging social companions and the time to spend with them.

          These are the things of true value that money buys, these are the rewards for hard work, education and investment. This is why people work to better themselves. However you are welcome to return to nature and live as a naked ape, just as nature intended. Your carbon footprint will be minimal as you will soon return to the soil, nature does not care.

            • Do you enjoy the material comforts of living in the West, Hedlock? If betterment is simply wanting what Westerners have already had for a long time, then one can’t fault Asians, or any other race, for wanting same.

              • Hedlok is pretty happy sitting outside a shop on an old blanket with his scrawled cardboard sign and battered tin cup, why should he want for anything more?

                  • Death threats? I can’t see any, perhaps you are just paranoid, sitting on your tatty, old blanket, mumbling happily to yourself, waiting for God (or the Government) to provide your daily bread.

  10. Russell Brand.
    “The award-winning journalist Aaron Maté, explains why peace talks were stopped between Russia & Ukraine. Additionally, how the US is using Ukraine to weaken Russia without a direct conflict which hopefully irks IM RIGHT. ”

    • Russell Brand neither ‘irks’ nor bothers me CB.
      I’m more curious why you are obsessed with a multi millionaire champagne marxist/socialist.
      Obsessed in the way a teenager obsesses with their fav band or singer and all their music is the best and EVERYONE must listen to it….you are that obsessed CB lol
      Hope your wife understands she is #2 in your affections eh?

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